Opportunities

These are STEM or Space related opportunities that are currently available to residents of Colorado. Please see linked web pages for additional information. Not everyone will qualify for these opportunities. We are not affiliated with any of the organizations offering these opportunities and inclusion here is not an endorsement of any company or organization.


2017


Opportunity: Mars Valley Urbanization Concept Challenge
Deadline: October 16, 2017

Description: HP and the Mars Society are partnering to bring you the HP Mars Home Planet Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to ideate and to ultimately build a virtual colony on Mars that we can all experience in VR. Sometime, in the not too distant future, one million humans will be living in the Mars Valley (Mawrth Vallis) on planet Mars. Our mission is to conceptualize and then design the urban areas supporting these future martians; the homes, buildings, shelters, school buses, bicycles, cars, public transportation systems, ski resorts, shopping malls, and more. Inspired by your visions and designs, humankind will accelerate the colonization of Mars and the urbanization of Mars’s first city. We are looking for designs that solve Mars’s future Transportation and Infrastructure needs and participants can choose either path, or design for both! Our first Design Challenge is focused only on concepts, meaning that we are looking for ideas, diagrams, and sketches.


Opportunity: Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL)
Deadline: October 17, 2017

Description: RASC-AL is seeking proposals from the university community in four deep space transportation areas to potentially improve NASA’s ability to travel within the solar system. Earlier this year, NASA proposed a concept to build a gateway in the vicinity of the Moon, which could be constructed during the next decade. The deep space gateway could be a staging point for future spacecraft to transport crew between various destinations, and initially would include a power and propulsion element, a habitat for crew quarters, and a logistics module for research. Once assembled, the gateway could serve as a staging point for a future deep space transport that would carry humans to destinations beyond the Earth-Moon system. The competition will build upon NASA’s proposed gateway and transport systems.


Opportunity: NASA Spring Internships
Deadline: October 17, 2017

Description: Now is your chance to apply for exciting hands-on spring internship opportunities available at all NASA centers. High school, undergraduate and graduate students are needed to help NASA scientists and engineers with ongoing scientific and engineering research, technology development and spaceflight operations activities. Internship opportunities also exist in nontechnical areas such as communications, budget, procurement, education and human resources. NASA internships are stipend-paid and offer students mentor-directed, degree-related, NASA-relevant tasks.


Opportunity: CubeSat Challenge
Deadline: October 18, 2017

Description: USSOCOM is seeking global ideas on how to advance CubeSat capabilities. Specifically, USSOCOM is conducting this crowdsourcing challenge to solicit concepts that advance the state of current CubeSat technologies and payloads and demonstrate applications that may benefit any of the USSOCOM missions. Concepts should be viable for a prototype demonstration within 12-24 months. These concepts will advance how CubeSats can be utilized to support Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions. The CubeSat Challenge will award a grand total of up to $35,000 in cash prizes.


Opportunity: 2018 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
Deadline: October 24, 2017

Description: The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2018 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the largest private scholarship in the country for community college transfer students. As many as 55 students from a nationwide applicant pool will receive up to $40,000 per year for up to three years of study at the four-year accredited college or university of their choosing. According to Harold O. Levy, executive director of the Foundation, recent studies have shown that many of the nation’s most gifted students begin their postsecondary education at a community college. He explained that the scholarships provide talented, low-income students who might otherwise lack the financial resources to do so with a chance to complete their college education, pursuing their goals and dreams. To be eligible, applicants must be current students at accredited U.S. community colleges or two-year institutions with sophomore status or have graduated within the last five years. They must have a cumulative college GPA of 3.5 or above, plan to transfer to a four-year college or university to begin studies in the coming fall, and demonstrate unmet financial need.


Opportunity: International Space Station Cotton Sustainability Challenge
Deadline: November 1, 2017

Description: Sponsored by Target Corporation, the challenge seeks proposals to improve cotton sustainability through research conducted on the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. The challenge will leverage a broad range of disciplines to find breakthrough solutions that can be implemented affordably and benefit the cotton production community. Selected proposals will receive grant funding through Target Corporation and ultimately manifested for flight to the ISS National Lab.


Opportunity: Space Technology Research Fellowships
Deadline: November 2, 2017

Description: NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) invites current and future master and doctoral students to submit graduate student fellowship applications in relevant space technology disciplines at accredited U.S. universities. STMD seeks to sponsor graduate student researchers who show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating new and innovative space technologies for the nation’s science, exploration and economic future. The grants, worth as much as $75,000 per year, will coincide with the start of the fall 2018 academic term. Grant awards resulting from this competitive selection will be made to accredited U.S. universities. Selected applicants will perform research at their respective colleges or universities and at selected NASA centers. In addition to a faculty advisor, each student will be matched with a technically relevant and community-engaged NASA researcher who will serve as the student’s research collaborator.


Opportunity: 2018 Drop Tower Challenge
Deadline: November 10, 2017

Description: Do you have what it takes to think like a scientist? Well, put on your lab coats and thinking caps because NASA is challenging U.S. high school students to participate in research related to the International Space Station as part of its 2018 Drop Tower Challenge. Students are asked to design and build objects that sink in water in normal gravity, but will be expelled as far as possible from the water during a free fall from NASA’s 2.2 Second Drop Tower at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Using the agency’s drop tower, researchers from around the world study the effects of microgravity on physical phenomena such as combustion and fluid dynamics to develop technology for future space missions. To be eligible for the 2018 Drop Tower Challenge, the student-designed object’s expulsion from the water must result from the hydrophobic, or water fearing properties of its surface. The challenge involves a number of steps, including submitting written proposals to NASA for review before the agency selects final objects to test in the drop tower. The contest is open to students in ninth through 12th grades. Each team may submit one proposal and up to three objects for consideration. An organization (e.g. school, science center, scout troop) may submit no more than five proposals. No more than two proposals will be selected from a single organization.


Opportunity: Hosting An ARISS Contact In The USA
Deadline: November 15, 2017

Description: A scheduled ARISS contact is a voice-only communication via Amateur Radio between the International Space Station (ISS) crew and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts allow education audiences to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to work and live in space. These scheduled contact opportunities are offered to formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together. The radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes in length due to the radio communication window permitted by the logistics of orbital passes of the ISS. During the contact, students interact directly with astronauts and cosmonauts during this communication window using a question and answer format. To maximize these radio contacts, the ARISS program looks for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the radio contact into a well-developed education plan. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in contact dates and times.


Opportunity: Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program
Deadline: November 29, 2017

Description: The Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship Program is a highly selective internship and mentorship program that provides extraordinary summer opportunities to current college juniors, seniors, and graduate students passionate about commercial spaceflight.


Opportunity: 2018 Big Idea Challenge
Deadline: November 30, 2017 Deadline to submit Proposal and Video

Description: The Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge is an initiative supporting NASA’s Game Changing Development Program (GCD) efforts to rapidly mature innovative/high impact capabilities and technologies for infusion in a broad array of future NASA missions. This GCD-sponsored engineering design competition seeks innovative ideas from the academic community for Mars surface solar arrays. Supplying reliable electric power for human missions on the Martian surface is a critical technology need. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems provide a viable option but require creative engineering design and judicious operational approaches to assure successful use on Mars. Participation in the BIG Idea Challenge is open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students studying in fields applicable to human space exploration (i.e., aerospace, electrical, and mechanical engineering; and life, physical, and computer sciences). The BIG Idea challenge allows students to incorporate their coursework into real aerospace design concepts and work together in a team environment. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.


Opportunity: Brooke Owens Fellowship Program
Deadline: December 5, 2017

Description: Paid internships and executive mentorship for exceptional undergraduate women in aerospace. Work at the coolest companies, doing the most meaningful things. Connect directly with the leaders of today’s industry. Build a network that will launch you to the career of your dreams. Created to honor the legacy of a beloved space industry pioneer and accomplished pilot, Dawn Brooke Owens (1980 – 2016), the Brooke Owens Fellowship Program is designed to serve both as an inspiration and as a career boost to capable young women who, like Brooke, aspire to explore our sky and stars, to shake up the aerospace industry, and to help their fellow men and women here on planet Earth. We do this by matching thirty-six extraordinary women per year with purpose-driven, paid internships at leading aviation and space companies and organizations and with senior and executive level mentors.


Opportunity: The Science Ambassador Scholarship
Deadline: December 11, 2017

Description: A full–tuition scholarship for a woman in science, technology, engineering, or math. Funded by Cards Against Humanity. Film a three–minute video of yourself explaining a topic in STEM you are passionate about. You must be a high school senior or an undergraduate college student to apply. An advisory board of sixty women who hold higher degrees and work in STEM will review the applications and select the finalists. The finalists will be notified in early 2018 and will move onto the next round to submit additional materials.


Opportunity: Earth and Space Air Prize
Deadline: December 13, 2017

Description: Breathable air is necessary to sustain humans both on Earth as well as in space. Tiny airborne particles, known as aerosols, can contribute to a variety of health problems, such as asthma and respiratory tract irritation. To ensure the health of humans living on Earth as well as those traveling in spacecraft to explore the solar system, aerosol sensors are needed to monitor air quality and alert engineers when action is necessary. NASA is working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to sponsor the Earth and Space Air Prize competition for a solution that could improve air quality and health in space and on Earth. This project is a technology innovation challenge to promote development of robust, durable, inexpensive, efficient, lightweight, and easy-to-use aerosol sensors for space and Earth environments. The competition asks teams or individuals to design and develop specialized sensor technology that has the potential to be useful in spaceflight as well as on Earth anywhere outdoors in a community where people may be exposed to airborne particles. The Earth and Space Air Prize is a two-phased competition. Registration for Phase 1 is open until December 13, 2017, and requires submission of a sensor design by January 31, 2018. The competition will name three finalists by the end of March 2018, and each will be awarded $50,000 to build a prototype. Finalists will deliver prototypes to the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, by September 30, 2018 for testing and final evaluation. The competition will announce the $100,000 grand prize winner in mid-October of 2018.


Opportunity: Two For The Crew Challenge
Deadline: December 19, 2017

Description: This fall, NASA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation are challenging students to use their ingenuity to create a helpful tool that combines the functions of two objects being used by crew aboard the International Space Station. The national Future Engineers Two for the Crew Challenge provides an exciting opportunity for K-12 students to develop an innovative model intended to be 3-D printed by astronauts on the orbiting laboratory. Students will invent multi-use tools and customized equipment that can help astronauts with maintenance, medical, trash management, and the challenge of securing and storing items in microgravity. Participants will explore concepts like mass and volume, while learning engineering and 3-D design skills. Submissions from K-12 students in the United States will be accepted online. The Two for the Crew Challenge is free for student participation. The challenge website provides educational information about space station crew tools and brainstorming resources that help students get started with creating their designs. The site also provides links to free 3-D design software.


Opportunity: NASA Announcement for High Impact / Broad Implementation STEM Education Partnerships
Deadline: December 31, 2017

Description: NASA Education seeks to partner with eligible domestic or international organizations on a no-exchange-of-funds basis to reach wider and more diverse audiences and to achieve mutually beneficial objectives. The Announcement places a priority on collaboration involving the following: digital learning; engaging underrepresented groups in STEM; NASA-themed STEM challenges; and youth-serving organizations. NASA also is receptive to other creative ideas including, for example, investigations or application of science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and design (STEAMD); or activities culturally relevant to or focused on unrepresented in STEM careers populations, such as women, ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities. The announcement explains the criteria used to review responses and NASA’s partnership mechanism known as a no-exchange-of-funds or non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement. NASA will accept responses on a rolling basis through Dec. 31. 2017.


2018


Opportunity: NASA Earth & Space Air Prize
Deadline: January 31, 2018

Description: NASA is launching the Earth and Space Air Prize with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to develop innovative technology that can help improve air quality and health in space and on Earth. Airborne particulate matter in aerosols can contribute to a variety of human health problems such as asthma and respiratory tract irritation. NASA needs small, easy-to-maintain, inexpensive aerosol sensors for missions aboard the International Space Station and future deep space exploration. There is a similar need in Earth communities for robust, versatile, easily installed, efficient and affordable air quality sensors. Multiple miniaturized gas sensors are currently available; however, instruments that measure particulate matter with appropriate accuracy for these applications still require some research and development. The aim for this challenge is to advance the development of aerosol sensor technologies useful in both human space flight as well as on Earth, and for NASA to develop a sensor that can be flown in a future flight experiment. Prize winners up to $100,000.


Opportunity: Project Mars International Art And Film Contest
Deadline: August 31, 2018

Description: Early career professionals and college students are invited to submit a poster or short film to the Project Mars International Art and Film Contest. Entries should creatively envision what astronauts may experience when traveling to Mars. A sustainable crew presence in deep space will require the best of NASA, our international partners and the private sector. Therefore, the agency is studying its deep space gateway concept with U.S. industry and space station partners for potential future collaborations. Entrants should imagine this journey as part of their film or poster submissions. The winning short film will be selected by a team of film industry judges including Gareth Edwards, director of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” The winning poster will be chosen by a graphic design team of judges including Joshua Grossberg, creative director of the McCann New York advertising agency.